The Earl I Ruined // It Proved Second Time Really Is The Charm

15 December 2018

The Earl I Ruined
Published: 11th December 2018

Source: Netgalley (But also purchased)

Genre: Historical Romance

My Rating:
She’s beautiful, rich, and reckless…

When Lady Constance Stonewell accidentally ruins the Earl of Apthorp’s entire future with her gossip column, she does what any honorable young lady must: offer her hand in marriage. Or, at the very least, stage a whirlwind fake engagement to repair his reputation. Never mind that it means spending a month with the dullest man in England. Or the fact that he disapproves of everything she holds dear.

He’s supposedly the most boring politician in the House of Lords...

Julian Haywood, the Earl of Apthorp, is on the cusp of finally proving himself to be the man he’s always wanted to be when his future is destroyed in a single afternoon. When the woman he’s secretly in love confesses she’s at fault, it isn’t just his life that is shattered: it’s his heart.

They have a month to clear his name and convince society they are madly in love…

But when Constance discovers her faux-intended is decidedly more than meets the eye—not to mention adept at shocking forms of wickedness—she finds herself falling for him.

There’s only one problem: he can’t forgive her for breaking his heart.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I decided to come out of hibernation to review this release (late). Please forgive me if it’s a terrible review but I both struggled to figure out how to explain why this book was so awesome (because what are words?) but also my review skills are a bit rusty, I’m brushing off cobwebs here.

I really enjoyed the debut release from Scarlett Peckham but had some grumbles (namely the big change in tone for the two halves of the book and a big is it cheating situation which occurred) but that being said I simply knew I /had to/ read the sequel, The Earl I Ruined. Not only because I'd liked the character of Constance in the first book (you just knew her mouth would get her in trouble one day) but also because fake relationships are absolute favourite romance trope ever seen. I cannot get enough of it and I most definitely wanted to see Constance meet her match with the likes of straight-laced Julian Haywood.

Constance is a bit of a gossip (I can totally relate to that because working in an office has ruined me and made me a total sucker for gossip) and although she promised her brother she would not gossip and spread rumours again (it did cause a little drama for her brother) she cannot help herself as she feels she is doing a favour for others. I did appreciate her sentiments. Women in this age have so little control over their lives. They must simply hope that they chaperoned meetings with a man mean he is who he pretends to be. It's only right and fair that she let others know when she finds that a man is not all that he appears. Her reasoning for it is sound as she herself had a terrible experience with a certain man I shall not name. Anyway, I digress, Constance is a gossip who gets herself into a touch of trouble when the gossip she has given to a few close friends falls into the wrong hands and ends up in a gossip column all can see and ruins the reputation of Julian Haywood. And she feels so guilty she proposes she redeem him by pretending to be engaged to him to enable him to claw back his good name and get everything he wanted (like his bill through parliament).

She though Julian was boring as he was always correcting her on her behaviour and actions and always seemed right and proper. And when she discovered he was a member of Charlotte Street even that she got the wrong impression on as well. Julian has been in love with Constance forever and so when he discovers that she is the one who ruined his rep his dreams are shattered as Constance was never interested in him and now he knows she doesn't care if she had no thought for how her gossip could ruin things for him. He acknowledges her help may be the only way to redeem his rep and get his plans through parliament to finally enable him to achieve his aims. Although he realises Constance may not be by his side as he had originally planned.

The pair fall into a false engagement to convince friends, family and parliament. They pretend they've had a long secret engagement and that the rumours are laughable. Sadly, the rumours are false but there is certainly more to Julian's story. I loved seeing this hate to love fake relationship develop. Julian was in love and now hates Constance and cannot stand this fake show they must out on when this is all he ever wanted. And for Constance Lord Bore is nothing like she expected and I loved her gradually learning more about what a kind and wonderful man he is.

Sparks flew throughout this romance and who can help but love Julian when he gifts Constance a dog who gets called Shrimpy (cute right) but not only that the man gifted her a dildo! And helped guide her to an orgasm. A man who cares for female pleasure above his own is always a win in my book. So I was utterly charmed by Julian as snippets of him came out. I already loved Constance but Julian was a slow burn love and I adored him.

This book did not suffer from the sophomore slump. It was more sophomore smashed it out the park. It was addictive and sexy and a stand out in the historical romance genre. Definitely check this out and I'll be sat here hoping we'll be seeing more of Charlotte Street soon.

Have you read Scarlett Peckham’s books? Aren’t they just lovely? And if you haven’t read them have I successfully enticed you to give this one a shot?
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